Skimmer Waste! How often should your cup be filling up?

How often do you have to empty your skimmer collection cup?

  • Every day

    Votes: 23 2.6%
  • 1-2 Days

    Votes: 71 8.1%
  • 3-4 Days

    Votes: 198 22.6%
  • 5-6 Days

    Votes: 106 12.1%
  • A Week

    Votes: 324 36.9%
  • More than a week

    Votes: 155 17.7%

  • Total voters
    877

revhtree

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Wet skimming, dry skimming, what type of skimmer you have, your tank size, your bio-load, your sump water level and more are all variables of how quick your skimmer cup will fill up with waste. That being said I would like for us to discuss this today and maybe get a basic idea of how often our skimmer collection cup should be filling up!

How long does it take for your skimmer cup to fill up when you've got all your "settings" correct?

Anything else you would like to add?

@wiselyy73 skimmer photo
b51f6876742d577b96049942bf427439.jpg
 
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andrewkw

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For me it's once a week, full, dirty, wet but not too wet. Mud like consistency around the walls and dark dark liquid in the actual cup. I carbon dose and that drastically increases what the skimmer pulls out. For many years I always really oversized my skimmers. While this did work, going down to a smaller skimmer actually helped performance.
 

ReefGeezer

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It really depends. Sometimes I skim wet. The cup fills with a greenish liquid in about a day. When skimming dryer, it takes up to a week to fill the cup with a thick dark stinky mud with a dense foam that overflows through the vent holes in the top of the cup.
 
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ca1ore

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Too many variables. Skim wet, skim dry, ratio of skimmer size to collection cup size, external skimmate container ..... etc., etc.
 

ReefGrammie

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If it's running dry, I can go once a week (usually when I do a water change). I had to turn off the skimmer for a few days because I've been going crazy at live sales and have a ton of that marine epoxy putty stuff everywhere! Skimmer has been going mad!
 

zoomonster

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I agree too many variables... on average though once a week to drain and clean the whole reef octopus 3000 cup assembly because the whole neck and top are full of heavy sludge. Fish get fed a lot plus I have a bio pellet reactor adding to the sludge production.
 

parttimer

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Daily for both, usually about half full. I have a Tunze on my 120 and aquamaxx on my 65. I skim very wet, it's easier than playing with the settings over and over.
 

Kenneth Hooper

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Wet skimming, dry skimming, what type of skimmer you have, your tank size, your bio-load, your sump water level and more are all variables of how quick your skimmer cup will fill up with waste. That being said I would like for us to discuss this today and maybe get a basic idea of how often our skimmer collection cup should be filling up!

How long does it take for your skimmer cup to fill up when you've got all your "settings" correct?

Anything else you would like to add?

@wiselyy73 skimmer photo
b51f6876742d577b96049942bf427439.jpg
Suddenly, my skimmer is running VERY wet and overflowing
 

jvswan

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In addition, I think it depends on how heavily I feed the fish and corals. I feed pretty heavily, but I only dump my overflow every 3-4 days. I use a gallon water jug, and it is maybe half-full by then. Also clean out the skimmer cup and neck then. Any more frequently and I’d say I’d need to take a look at my system because that would be too much.
 

Passedyouby

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I like to use the skimmers collection speed as a sign of when I need to do a water change. I figure if i overfeed then the skimmers collection speed will dictate that a WC should happen sooner than later.
When collection cup is full I have it plumbed into my drain line. The water rushing out of my aquarium "sucks" the sludge out of my skimmer cup and down the drain. Oddly satisfying.
 

Kevan Sharp

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I have a hard time finding the right setting. I either cannot get any foam overflow, or if I make one tiny tweak, I have a mess and overflow over the top of the container and back into the sump. For that reason, I dump my skimmer cup twice a week, regardless of what is in it, in case I do have an overflow and I don't want week-old skimmate overflowing into the sump. I work at home so it is easy for me to check the foam overflow once or twice a day.

When I do a water change, I thoroughly clean the skimmate overflow cup.
What I would like is to hit the right setting so that I have to empty it twice a week.. If only I could find that sweet spot. Once a quarter, I take the skimmer out and clean it top to bottom, including letting the pump sit in vinegar solution.

Great question and I am reading everyone's responses.
 

Entz

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I empty it weekly regardless (usually 1/2-3/4 full). Checked couple times a week when I swap out the floss. Like above I don't let it get full though as I really don't want that going back into the system if it decides to freak out and start overflowing which happens from time to time.
 

Mickey13

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I've been skimming very dry for the last week or so but even before that it was usually about a week. 75g w 60g sump so probably around 100g without accounting for rock etc. very heavy bioload. not going to get into it here as my 150 is almost ready for setup. I'm a heavy feeder, fish are hungry what can I say. no corals so not an issue at the moment.
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Greg Witherell

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I empty and clean my skimmer cup weekly it is usually half full of dark green liquid and coated inside with a thick layer of crud. I am using a simplicity 240DC running a medium wet skim.
 

Mical

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I clean my skimmers weekly. It's part of my Sunday "ritual" - Test Alk, Cal & Mag, clean skimmers, empty skimmer overflow tanks, (both have external skimate holding tanks) clean optical sensors for ATOs and top off ATO res'.
 

Andrewrckt

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I empty mine everyday, but figuring I installed it yesterday, I have only one data input. I am trying to still find the right height for the collection cup on my reef octopus classic 1000 HOB. I bought it used so it had a drain line installed which is directed into a 5 gallon container to the side of my tank (just in case I mess something up).
 

CreatiVe2

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I empty mine about once every two weeks. But that's mainly due to my overflow being an avast marine skimmate locker. my cup would fill up once a week from my lifereef skimmer. which is about 2/3 of a gallon. I do skim medium dry, resulting in a medium to high viscosity.
 

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